Death of Derbforgaill

This is the story of the Death of Derbforgaill, of the red branch of the mythology Irish.

Death of Derbforgaill

Death of Derbforgaill

Derbforgaille, daughter of the king of Lochlann, fell in love with Cûchulainn without having met him, because of the stories that were told about him. She and her maid took the form of two swans and flew to Lough Cuan, bound together by a gold chain, to search for her lover.

Cûchulainn hunted with his nursing brother Lugaid Riab nDerg (Lugaid-aux-rays-rouge), son of the Tri Finn Emna. Lugaid saw the birds flying over them and suggested that Cûchulainn try to reach them. With his slingshot, Cûchulainn threw a stone, which passed between Derforgaille's ribs and entered his chest. Immediately two human forms appeared on the shore.

 "I came for you and you treated me cruelly," Derforgaille said to Cûchulainn. "It's true," said Cûchulainn. He sucked the girl's side to remove the stone and a blood clot came with it.

 "I was coming in search of you," repeated Derforgaille. - "Don't say that," said Cûchulainn, "I cannot join someone whose side I have sucked. " 

 In that case, give me whichever one you choose. " 

 I would like you to go with the noblest young man in Ireland, Lugaid-aux-Raies-Rouges. Said Cûchulainn.

 As long as I can see you, so be it. So she went with Lugaid and carried a child by him.

One winter day, when it had snowed heavily, the men made pillars of snow. The women went up to the pillars and said, "Piscons on the pillars to see which urine will penetrate the farthest. The best of us will be the one who can go straight to the ground. " 

None could get their urine to the floor through the pillars. So they called Derbforgaille. But she wasn't enthusiastic, she thought it was absurd. However she was forced to go to the pillar, and her urine entered straight to the floor.

The women said, "If the men knew this, no woman would be loved in comparison with this one. So they gouged out his eyes, cut off his nose, both ears and hair, and the flesh of his thighs. No one will want her now. " 

After having undergone these tortures, Derforgaille was brought back to her house.

The men were gathered on a hill outside Emain Macha. "It's strange," Cûchulainn said, "that there is snow on the roof of Derbforgaille's house. " 

 She must be close to death! Lugaid cried.

They rushed towards the house, but when she heard them coming, Derbforgaille closed the door on her. “Open! "Said Cûchulainn.

Derforgaille sang a long lament, bidding farewell to Cûchulainn and Lugaid. It is said that when they managed to get inside, her soul had already left her. Lugaid died to see her like that.

Cuchulainn went to the women's house and made it collapse, killing all those inside. He killed three fifty queens that day. Then he erected the tombstones of Lugaid and Derbforgaille, and he mourned them.